DC Recap Round-Up 2, Week 5: Let’s Check In On Some Titans!

10 Nov

Welcome back! This week is going to be a little different on account Black Lightning and The Flash being off for Election Day, so while we’re light half our useful full lineup, this seems like a good time to check in on the first few episodes of another DC related show that just came out, on DC’s new streaming platform, Titans. So before we get to that, let’s get to who has new episodes this week…

“Ahimsa”

Supergirl is basically stuck in an armored suit until the kryptonite is removed from the atmosphere, which leaves the rest of our heroes to pick up the slack until that problem is solved. And that leads to Mercy Graves getting some alien parasite in the DEO holding, along with a few aliens to be mind-controlled and used to fuel anti-alien sentiment. Meantime, J’onn runs into his missing alien friend Fiona’s lover, Manchester Black, who finds out around the same time J’onn does that Fiona is still alive, being controlled by the same parasites stolen from the DEO. Kara wants to help, but is impeded by the limited power and strength of the suit, which stresses out an already stressed out Alex.

Eventually J’onn helps get Alex past all that stress and trust in her own instincts, which involve trusting in the help of Kara, and that Brainy and Lena can clean out the kryptonite in the air in time to help stop another attack on humans by Mercy’s controlled aliens. Turns out Alex was right, and Kara comes back to full power and kryptonite free in time to stop Mercy and Otis’ plans. But we got other things to worry about, like the President ordering oversight of the DEO, Fiona being found dead and sending Manchester Black into maybe a dark place, and Agent Liberty deciding to carry on with this whole infecting people with parasites plan. Oh, and that other Kara in Russia? She’s still alive, and ready to continue training for…something.

“Cool! I get to be Iron Man for an episode!”

–James puts on the Guardian getup again to help out in that final fight with Mercy and her possessed aliens, against the warning from Nia that she feels something bad will happen. Well, it’s not that he’s arrested, but that his appearance there has been co-opted by anti-alien bloggers. That’s probably worse than prison.

–So, are Mercy and Otis dead? I mean, they did get spikes put into them, so…maybe, I don’t know?

–So the new President is really angry about the DEO’s handling of all of this, and why do I feel we’re gonna get a heel turn with him soon enough?

–“These are tears of logic!”

–“Is that Supergirl or one of the blokes from Daft Punk?”

–“Americans, man. No idea how to drink.”

“Dancing Queen”

Our heroes (minus Nate, which we’ll discuss why in a minute or two) take a trip to 1977 London to investigate some bizarre behavior, like Queen Elizabeth flashing people at a punk rock concert. Constantine guesses this might be the work of a leprechaun, possibly within a unknown punk band called The Smell. When they run into Ray, who then has to play along to discover the identity of the leprechaun in the band, he discovers it’s not a leprechaun, but a shapeshifter named Charlie. This becomes a problem for Ray when he realizes this shapeshifter probably doesn’t deserve to go back into Hell, so he has to protect Charlie from his teammates.

The team captures Charlie and are about to send her to Hell when she takes on their forms to play on their pity, eventually getting to an image of Amaya (thank Ray for showing Charlie that photo of the group from their disco adventure)! While they don’t send her to Hell, Charlie gets her shape shifting powers clipped by Constantine, while still looking like Amaya. This would be awkward for Nate, but he’s busy becoming Time Bros with Gary and accidentally bringing in a mystical Venus flytrap to the Time Bureau. Oh, and Ray lets slip he helped Nora Darhk escape custody. Whoops.

Ray Palmer: punk as ***k.

–A reference to John Constantine’s former punk band, Mucus Membrane, in this one. Also, he finally meets his mom, who died in childbirth (which is revealed in an awkward moment to Zari).

–Also, apparently you can’t hit your dad in the nuts before they conceive you (the “Ball Kick Paradox”). I would have called it the Eddie Thawne Paradox, but hey…

–Ray got a tattoo of a Corgi with a mohawk. Yeah I agree, Rory, he’s gone nuts.

–Gary believes in Taco Monday, because why settle on Taco Tuesday?

–“It’s a flag attached to someone’s neck that says ‘I’m a liar’.”

–“I can see where your nipple was.”

–“Are you being serious or racist?” “Both.”

–“Red beans and rice didn’t miss Your Majesty.”

–“Did you put butter into the coffee machine again, Gary?”

So, here we are with DC Universe’s (DC Comics’ new streaming platform) first original show, Titans, which is meant to be an edgier show than the CW shows we cover here. This is a grimmer version of what many fans know as The Teen Titans (or Teen Titans Go!), but with a bit more violence, a bit more profanity (okay, way more, but more on that shortly), and a bit more mature in story. And what is the conclusion I can make after the first few episodes? It might be trying a bit too hard to be edgy.

First off, the story is about a grown Dick Grayson, who works as a police detective in Detroit, and occasionally goes out and fights crime as Robin (minus Batman, which is a big mystery why that is throughout the first few episodes). He gets a case with a teenager named Rachel, who seems to be the target of some evil cult who wants to use her for something. She’s got superpowers, and eventually with this threat, Dick and Rachel pick up an odd group of outcasts to face this evil. Like for instance, a kid who can turn himself into animals and a woman with some kind of alien power.

“Time to beat up some bad guys and crank up some Disturbed!”

And this show takes its sweet time getting to bringing our titular heroes together (it’s not until the end of episode four they all actually meet), which can be hard for a show that is being released weekly as opposed to the Netflix model of all at once. Also, this takes quite a few detours to introduce other characters that aren’t necessarily related to the Titans. That kind of goes to the matter of tone this show wants to have: it seems to be dark with dark characters, but then it has to bring us a grim Hawk and Dove and an episode later, a playful Doom Patrol. The freaking DOOM PATROL.

In fact, the good I can say about the show, besides a solid cast and some quality CG work, is that it is improving from the first episode, which seemed like it was posturing a bit too much to be edgy. The Doom Patrol episode (which is a backdoor pilot for another DC Universe show with those characters) which is the last one I’ve seen so far has been its best. That kind of gives me hope for another season (which was ordered before this even premiered) of this, or maybe just whatever this Doom Patrol spin-off is going to be. As for Titans, it’s more cautiously optimistic than uninterested right now, so that’s a plus. Maybe we’ll check in on this when the season is over (or there’s a break big enough to do it).

NEXT TIME: We return to our full regularly scheduled programming as Supergirl faces a parasite, The Flash faces a rag doll, Black Lightning handles a newly released Tobias, and the Legends of Tomorrow go to summer camp!

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